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I am in the middle of my trip going home from Yogyakarta with my husband. Well, Yogyakarta is 325 km away from Surabaya. We went last night at 10:00 PM and arrived this morning at 04:00AM. The traffic was not really crowded. We are enrolling Ken, our first homeschooled son, to participate in national examination for primary education. After some meeting with the institution officer, we return to Surabaya at 12:15 PM. It is a very tiring day. My husband is really great driving for about 14 hours. You might ask why we have to go that far to enrol for the exam.
Our province requires the exam participants to be twelve or thirteen years old to enrol, while Ken is still only eleven. So far it is possible for the younger age participant to enrol in Yogyakarta. We try our best to save one year to get participate. Another information about the national examination in our country is that the uncertainty of the process, especially for homeschoolers. There are a lot of versions of going for national exam regulation which are very confusing. Honestly, I feel really sick about the uncertain regulation of national exam in our country as it motivates corruption and sacrifices children's future. However, I cannot do anything rather than investigating and following.
We should have been very lucky that we met another Indonesian homeschooler who has passed the national exam successfully with some better regulation. Thus, we tried to follow her at the moment. We just met a really kind officer who would help us participate in this academic year national exam. I wish everything is fine so that my children can go to the national exam, pass with great score, and get the certificate as well. It is time for us to be serious preparing for the national exam.
There are some international standard exams like Cambridge International Exam that kids can go actually, but for me they are optional as I still haven't got any plan to get them go for university or later school in overseas. Our priority is the national exam first as we live in Indonesia at the moment.
Thinking about exam (any kinds of exams), there are some questions and issues come up in my mind that I have heard from some homeschooling buddies:
Why do people go for exam?
- People want certificate to go for the next academic stage and to apply for the job. If your children later work for other as employees, having certificates will probably a must requirements. However, when your children later employ themselves, they don't need any certificate with them.
- People try to measure the ability of themselves or their children whether they have met the standard, whether they are left behind or not.
- Avoiding negative comment from the society of not going for exam is another reason for people to go for exam. It will be a shame of you when people ask whether you have been qualified in certain academic achievement, when you never go for an exam.
- Going for the exam can motivate someone to get improved and to move further.
Why do people don't go for exam?
- The fee of the exam cannot be afforded. Some exams require people to pay with deer entrance fee so that not everyone can afford with it.
- People intentionally or unintentionally try to avoid the exams. They feel that they have not been ready yet to go with it. The measure of readiness for each person is different.
- The complicated or unsure regulations that make people get hesitated to take the exams.
- People don't need certification for their skills or academic progress. It is probably that their next career doesn't need any certification. People might just learn for fun or not for a profession. People might think that they can run their own business that doesn't need any certification.
There are some controversial issues regarding Indonesian National Examination. This kind of examination has been under pro and contra issues. I might not mention it properly. Please help me my Indonesian buddies.
- Exam is a standard of a country educational progress. Exam is like a mirror of how the education quality in a country is. It is like the target or the goals for student's academic progress and achievement. I can say, that how smart a student is measured by the score that he or she gets from the exam.
- Other country has exam, so it will be a shame if our country doesn't have one. I am not sure how the other country's exam looks like, but there should be certain objective or goals that are measured in the exam.
- Our exam will just lead us into another corruption in our country. It is just a game for business men and some governmental or institutional officers to get another side income.
- Exam will just make people to be educated based on exam orientated materials. What we need is a practical skill to be useful in our life and real world. In other words, doing exam is just a waste of time.
There should be many other points for both pro and contra exams. For me, going for the exams is still important considering all reasons why people go for the exams. I don't think from the point of view of pro exams as they are just beneficial for the country side. Regarding the contra sides of the exams, I try to avoid the exam orientated education toward kids mentally. Preparing for the exams is extremely important, but it doesn't necessarily interrupt our practical skills learnt. There should be a separated time between preparing for the exams and a real teaching and learning process.
What are your pros and contras toward exam?
What are your attitudes towards exams?